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Aquatic Bugs take over downtown Raleigh!

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Contact: emelia.cowans@naturalsciences.org; 919.733.7450, ext. 305

Water bugs make a splash at BugFest 2010!

New hours, new footprint, new activities, plus the return of the Alberti Flea Circus

RALEIGH — Yes. Shrimp and crawfish are bugs too and aquatic bugs swim front and center as the 2010 “theme bug” for BugFest — the biggest one-day bug-centric event of its kind in the country at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. On Saturday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., all four floors of the Museum, as well as Bicentennial Plaza, Jones St. and Edenton St. will be transformed into a buggy wonderland where visitors can turn fear into fascination and it’s all FREE. As always, the Café Insecta returns, and this year, with more variety than ever. Chefs from Raleigh’s own Acro Café, Locopops, Market Restaurant, PoshNosh Catering, Spize Café, and Tijuana Flats will create a host of free bug-filled dishes for everyone to enjoy! Traditional food and drink are also available for sale. The Museum Store will also be selling two new chocolate bars created specifically for this event by Escazu Artisan Chocolates of Raleigh. Hallot Parson, chocolate maker and co-founder, has created the Bamboo Worm Bar, featuring bamboo worms from Thailand and the Big Butt Ant Bar, featuring queen ants from Colombia!

Many of BugFest’s educational stations can now be found on Jones St., which will be blocked off between Salisbury and Wilmington Streets. There, visitors can find the KidZone and a variety of bug stations hosted by bug-experts on many species of arthropod. The KidZone will feature the Roachingham 500, where you can “bet” on the fastest Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in the land; bee-bearding demonstrations, the Arthropod Olympics, Bug Bounce, Cameron the Caterpillar (large walk-through caterpillar shaped tunnel), face painting (small fee) and “Buggy” Story Time.

Jim Alberti’s Flea Circus will be located at the other end of the plaza and the main stage on Edenton St. will feature musical performances from the North Carolina Theatre, bug-cooking demonstrations by Revolution Restaurant in Durham and live music all day long and into the evening portion of BugFest, also known as the “Evening Insectival” (5 to 7 p.m.) Other Insectival activities include the “Stag Beetle Battles,” the amazing Exentrik acrobats and at 5 p.m. a showing of “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo,” an independent film about bugs and culture in Japan.

Special presenters at BugFest include Dr. Margaret “Meg” Lowman, the Museum’s new director of the Nature Research Center, now under construction on Jones St., west of the Museum. Dr. Lowman, also known as the “mother of canopy research” will give two talks entitled, “Bugs Are Us” and "Stalking Bugs By Hot-Air Balloon" in  the Museum’s 1st floor auditorium. Also in the auditorium, visitors can see “Bugged,” a documentary about the Asian Long-horned Beetle that invaded the United States in the mid 1980s and is currently listed in the top 100 of the World’s worst invasive alien species.

New this year, BugFest will serve as the official kickoff to the North Carolina Science Festival, running for two weeks starting September 11–26. Visit ncsciencefestival.org for a full schedule of fun, educational activities throughout the state.

Terminix Co. of Eastern North Carolina is the Lead Sponsor of BugFest. Additional sponsors include Armstrong Cricket Farm, Bruegger’s Bagels, Caribou Coffee, Chick-fil-A (Falls Village and Capital Crossings stores), Clif Bar, Mitchell’s Catering, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, and Whole Foods Market. All BugFest activities are free (unless otherwise noted on-site). For information call 919.733.7450, x502 or x523, or visit Bugfest.org.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones St., Raleigh, documents and interprets natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Find more information online at naturalsciences.org. Hours: Mon-Sat., 9 am–5 pm and Sun., Noon–5 pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.